Insurance focus: Roald Dahl Museum reopens after flood

Business interruption insurance helped the charity bounce back from flooding that cost it more than £500,000 in repairs and loss of income

In May this year, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre faced an uncertain future.

The museum, which celebrates the author’s life and work and is based in Great Missenden – the Buckinghamshire village where Dahl lived – was forced to close for repairs after a downpour in the late May Bank Holiday weekend.

The story centre, children’s reading room and several of the bathroom areas were flooded, forcing the museum to close. The damage was limited to one end of the site so the author’s archive was unharmed.

As a popular destination for school trips and families, being closed for the end of summer term and throughout the summer holidays had a significant effect on the museum’s income.

Fortunately, the museum had business interruption cover – alongside the cover for the damage caused by the flood – under its policy with Ansvar.

Business interruption insurance covers the loss of income that a business suffers after a disaster.

When attractions are closed for a long period of time, they suffer a significant drop in income and can struggle to regain momentum when they reopen.

The insurer sent a claims team to the site of the flooding the next day, with loss adjusters to assess the damage and to reassure the museum that it was fully insured. The clean-up operation began immediately, but the extent of the damage meant that the repairs would take several months over the main summer holidays and into the new school year.

Without cover, the museum would have been facing a bill of about £500,000 in repairs and loss of income.

The insurer covered the museum’s losses over what should have been its busiest period and Ansvar worked closely with its broker to help the museum get back up and running.

As well as funding the repairs to the fabric of the building, the insurer hired a PR and marketing agency to promote the reopening of museum on Saturday 20 October and to drive ticket sales for the all-important October half-term.

Steve Gardam, museum director at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, said: "We’re delighted to have finally reopened the museum and we really appreciated Ansvar’s support over the past few months.

"Going beyond just repairing the fabric of the building, Ansvar has been very understanding about our concerns with cash flow and supported us with interim payments while our claim was being worked out.

"We were delighted to get additional funding to bring in a PR and marketing agency to help promote the museum’s relaunch."

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